More raises at DHHS; McCrory memo had ordered cutbacks - WNCN: News, Weather

More raises at DHHS; McCrory memo ordered cutbacks

Posted: Updated:
DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos
RALEIGH, N.C. -

As Information Technology Director for N.C. FAST (Families Accessing Services Through Technology), 39-year-old Anthony Vellucci makes sure statewide computer systems are running smoothly.  He's held his current position since 2010, according to state records. In June, he received a pay raise of more than $23,000, bringing his annual salary to $168,000.  That's $27,000 more than the annual salary of Gov. Pat McCrory.

Vellucci's raise is in addition to other pay bumps at the Department of Health and Human Services, which we told you about earlier this week.  24-year-old Communications Director Ricky Diaz got an extra $23,000 in April.  24-year-old Chief Policy Advisor Matthew McKillip took in an extra $22,500 around the same time.

Read More: McCrory defends double-digit pay raises at DHHS

On Thursday, in an interview with WNCN's Penn Holderness, McCrory defended those raises saying they were the result of well-deserved promotions, but state records show Vellucci's raise was not the result of a promotion.  In fact, it's classified as a "retention adjustment."

DHHS Human Resources Director Mark Gogal said doling out an extra $23,000 in pay was necessary to keep Vellucci from leaving.

"Retention of Mr. Vellucci was critical," Gogal said in an email response to WNCN on Friday.  "He is the project manager for an IT project that has been in development since 2009 and affecting all public assistance benefits in all 100 NC counties.  This project - North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology (NC FAST) is a program designed to improve the way the NC Department of Health and Human Services and county departments of social services serve North Carolinians.  Implementation of the project is critical for NC to meet deadlines imposed by the federal government for the ACA."

Other high-level staffers at DHHS have recently taken in big raises as well.  For example, 35-year-old Jason Simmons, a senior planner, took in a $22,500 pay raise in April, bringing his salary to $62,500.

Those raises took place after a March 8 memo McCrory sent to state agencies, directing them to reign in salaries due to major Medicaid cost overruns.

That memo read in part, "Limit compensation increases to only those needed for promotions and reclassifications where there is clear documentation of increased responsibilities and the expectation that agency accountability and performance will be improved."

McCrory has also blamed those Medicaid cost overruns, in part, for freezing teacher salaries in the two-year state budget he signed into law in July.

Friday, WNCN's Steve Sbraccia traveled to Greenville, where McCrory and DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos held a press conference on an unrelated topic. 

Following the event, when Steve Sbraccia and our photographer tried to approach Wos to ask her questions, security guards created a barricade, blocking our camera and allowing Wos to walk away.

 

RELATED ARTICLES

* McCrory defends double-digit pay raises at DHHS

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Parts of Durham once again flood as business owner looks for relief

    Parts of Durham once again flood as business owner looks for relief

    Monday, July 21 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-07-22 02:20:30 GMT
    Several inches of rain created flooding in parts of Durham on Monday.
    Several inches of rain created flooding in parts of Durham on Monday.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • Durham worker says he was let go after receiving back pay

    Durham worker says he was let go after receiving back pay

    Monday, July 21 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-07-22 02:32:25 GMT
    Michael David said Dayeco Construction owed him a paycheck for more than six weeks of work.Michael David said Dayeco Construction owed him a paycheck for more than six weeks of work.
    A Durham man said he was let go by his employer after finally getting a paycheck that he'd waited six weeks to receive.
    A Durham man said he was let go by his employer after finally getting a paycheck that he'd waited six weeks to receive.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.